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Experience the joy, peace, and salvation of Christ this Christmas
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Christian Science”
December 19-25, 2022

by Lindsey and John Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
541 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com
541 418 1176 JohnBiggsCS@gmail.com


INTRODUCTION

We are assured by Hymn 9 “He knows the angels that you need, And sends them to your side, To comfort, guard and guide.” (Christian Science Hymnal, No.  9)

This week’s Bible Lesson includes beautiful themes of peace and joy. From the Savior’s birth to his wonderful healing ministry, Christ Jesus reveals to us man’s spiritual nature. He reveals the laws of God that we can apply to bring salvation to our families, communities, and the world. His mission reveals the everlasting goodness of God’s government and “on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)


GOLDEN TEXT

Isaiah’s assurance of the great peace that comes from the government of God’s law is a perfect keynote for our Bible Lesson for Christmas day and week: “Great peace have they which love thy law:. . . I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.” Psalm 119:165 (to :), 174

What is peace and where does it come from? This verse from Psalms is a powerful statement that shows us that true peace comes from the law of God – from keeping our mind on Christ.

As Job encourages, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee…” (Job 22:21)

And Isaiah informs us that “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

And, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

This “Prince of Peace” brings us the sweet assurance that we are the beloved of God and nothing can separate us from God’s love.

I love praying with the idea of law. A law is something that is constant, reliable, and unchanging. No wonder the Psalmist loves the law of God.

God’s law is universal – operating in every place all the time. It doesn’t wear out or get exhausted. And there isn’t any competition for access to this law. It is in operation everywhere and just needs God’s shining lights – you and me – to be witnesses to it.

This is a true Christmas gift – to know that God’s love for you is constant and unchanging. It gives us joy to realize that nothing can truly separate us from the love or the law of God. There is nowhere we can travel to this Christmas where the law of God is not present. It can’t be more present in one place and less in another.

In her Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way: “God is universal; confined to no spot, defined by no dogma, appropriated by no sect. Not more to one than to all, is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect Him — that reflect Love. Again, this infinite Principle, with its universal manifestation, is all that really is or can be; hence God is our Shepherd. He guards, guides, feeds, and folds the sheep of His pasture; and their ears are attuned to His call.” (Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 150)

Now that is something to delight in!


RESPONSIVE READING

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4

Such joy radiates out from this Responsive Reading. I love that “sinless joy” is a spiritual quality of God. We can be joyful anywhere we are this Christmas. Because joy is a spiritual quality of God, it’s inherent in us. We have the right to claim that anytime, anywhere.

As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, “The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, — constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 76)

Of course that is a joy that is with us in all seasons!

What are some spiritual gifts you can give this season? Your joy and spiritual qualities (patience, humility, perseverance) are just the gifts that can make Christmas time a blessing. Perhaps it is a smile to a stranger, baking something for someone, delivering food to the homeless or grieving, writing thank you cards, etc. Your joyful, uplifting spirit can go a long way.

“… nor will Science admit that happiness is ever the sport of circumstance.” (Science and Health, p. 250) Isn’t that a wonderful thing to claim this Christmas? Happiness isn’t dependent on what gifts we get for Christmas, or who we get to celebrate Christmas with. It’s the joy that comes from the birth of Christ Jesus!

It’s the Christ, or Holy Spirit, that reveals our indestructible, spiritual nature. Christ takes away our limiting beliefs in that which isn’t – any sense of darkness with the light of Christ.

Christ Jesus is our Savior who came to show us who we are: the loved, spiritual children of God. This is the Christmas gift that lasts.

You may enjoy this article: The fulfillment of Jesus’ joy—a joy that never wanes


SECTION 1 – THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.” (end quote) (Isaiah 9:7 / citation B2)

So whatever is going on in the world, we can rejoice and know that the Kingdom of God is already a fact forever. The Kingdom of God is already established, and it will fulfill its mission in bringing full salvation to the world. We can pray to see the increase or progress of this government and its activity in the world.

Mary Baker Eddy eloquently wrote:
“To-day my soul can only sing and soar. An increasing sense of God’s love, omnipresence, and omnipotence enfolds me. Each day I know Him nearer, love Him more, and humbly pray to serve Him better.”
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 174:25–28)

I love this idea of increasing – a government of God’s goodness that can only increase. An increasing sense of our dominion over the whole earth. An increasing sense of God’s omnipotence, and oneness, and readiness to help us.  And, an increasing sense of being God’s cheerfully humble servant by helping others better.

Progress is natural. It comes from the leaven of Truth at work. Progress is the inevitable law of God. “Progress takes off human shackles.” (Science and Health, p. 256)

In Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Progress is the maturing conception of divine Love; it demonstrates the scientific, sinless life of man…” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 181)

We can learn so many valuable insights from the virgin birth of Jesus – so sinless, precious, and pure.
Mary Baker Eddy explains it this way: “The Holy Ghost, or divine Spirit, overshadowed the pure sense of the Virgin-mother with the full recognition that being is Spirit.” (SH p. 129 / cit. S1)

There is a sign on a church near our house which talks about the “immaculate conception”.
This definition of immaculate shows us some more of the spiritual qualities Jesus expressed: “Spotless; pure; unstained; undefiled; without blemish; not tinged with impure matter” (1828 Webster’s Dictionary).

These are beautiful spiritual qualities we can each claim for ourselves. Although we will never experience a virgin birth, we can still claim our original purity, sinlessness, and being born of Spirit. We, too, can fully recognize that “being is Spirit.” Jesus’ virgin birth shows us the true origin of each of us.

In the article What Christmas Means to Me, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection — an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 262)

In addition, she writes in Science and Health:
“In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.” (p. 63)


SECTION 2 – NO SEPARATION IN GOD’S KINGDOM, HEAVEN

“We three kings of Orient are…” That’s a nice Christmas carol! Has it ever struck you how truly fascinating it is, that some pagan astrologers were so captivated by the appearance of this Godly newness – a new star shining, a journey filled with God’s guiding angels, a baby lying in a barn – that they declared that this message of God was for them, as well? Chapter Three of Danielle Shroyer’s book, The Boundary-Breaking God, is very moving and instructive on some of the background of this delightful Christmas story; some of the ideas I’ll share here were informed by her writing.

So, the three kings. These weren’t Jewish astronomers. These were astrologers – pagans who looked to the sky for portents, signs, and divine influence – and upon seeing a NEW star, were so intrigued that they took the time to learn what it might mean, and made a huge trip to discover more. Now, God’s kingdom – heaven – is so expansive that not only are the seemingly-lowly inhabitants of a barn included in it, but those from completely different faiths and backgrounds are included in it as well. The astrologers – our three wise men – were so moved by this clear shining of divine Love, that they declared that their King was indeed present, right there.

This call of all-inclusive heaven clearly moved the shepherds as well. There is no more division. Later, near the end of Christ Jesus’ ministry (Luke 23:45), the veil in the temple which separated the Holy of Holies – seen as God’s earthly dwelling place – from the rest of the temple, was ripped in two, symbolizing that God was no more to be seen as separate from His children. But this unity had been proclaimed from the very beginning! Socially, shepherds and kings did not mingle; the King of Israel would not have bedded in a sheep trough; the question of “was there room” would never even have occurred to people in power. But God’s home – our home – includes all! Nothing real is left out of God’s kingdom…and this tender, sweet child fully and perfectly represented that call of God to His beloved family.

How can we nurture and watch for that all-inclusive love of God? Mary Baker Eddy succinctly put it like this in Science and Health, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” (end quote) (p. 494) Since every human need, therefore, is a need for divine Love, we can joyfully watch for how we can honor this in our own experience and in illuminating the experiences of others. Love to keep watch for how Love is moving you, how Love is showing you Her perfect work in being the Father-Mother of all. How shall we treat those we meet? As our sisters and brothers, united in heaven under God’s law of love.


SECTION 3 – EVERLASTING SPRINGS

 This section begins with this proclamation by Luke: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68, 78, 79 / cit. B8)

I love the way the King James Version translates that word, dayspring. I checked out a few other Bible translations and others say “rising sun” or “sunrise” – but isn’t that image of a dayspring just so beautiful? It reminds me of a spring of water: naturally occurring, bubbling up regardless of circumstances, discoverable by anyone willing to look, free to all.
And of course, biblically, thinking of a water spring reminds me of the story in the Gospel of John, where Jesus meets with a Samaritan woman at a well, and he offers her a well of everlasting life (see John 4:10-15). The poetic imagery of a dayspring, alongside a spring of water, just makes my heart sing. The day – sunlight, illumination, clarity, safety, warmth – springing forth eternally! What a joy!

The rest of this section in the Bible Lesson really speaks to that all-inclusive, dayspring warmth. I am so struck by the almost-casual way that the Gospel writer wrote this passage:
“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:” cit. B11 / Matthew 15:30) Multitudes came! And Jesus healed them! That’s exactly what light does, isn’t it: you turn on a light, and everyone in the room sees the light and experiences the fuller vision that comes immediately with that light.

That is healing. The revealing of what God has already done. What a joy, that our role is to witness that light, to come to that dayspring, and to live lives and think thoughts that honor that everpresent, healing light of Christ.


SECTION 4 – GOD’S LIGHT SHOWS US WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON

 This passage from the Gospel of Matthew really stuck out to me.
“behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake:” (Matthew 9:32,33 / cit. B15) The people identified this man as someone without the power of speech. This was like a status statement: this man is blond, that woman is smart, that child is silly. This is just…the way things are. And, so, this man couldn’t speak.

But the status of man is never properly defined by the material so-called senses. Listen to this moving call to action from Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings:
“He is bravely brave who dares at this date refute the evidence of material sense with the facts of Science, and will arrive at the true status of man because of it.” (183:28–31)
The TRUE status of man is only visible in the light of Christ. That light has risen, it’s warm glow illuminates the entire truth, and the message of God’s Kingdom come, His will being done, is found as the actual defining fact about man.

Jesus recognized this claim of speech disability as nothing more than a devilish thought or claim. Remove the claim – see it as nothing more than a claim, and unsee the claim – and the spiritual status of man is seen more clearly.

Mary Baker Eddy describes it this way:
“To say there is a false claim, called sickness, is to admit all there is of sickness; for it is nothing but a false claim. To be healed, one must lose sight of a false claim. If the claim be present to the thought, then disease becomes as tangible as any reality. To regard sickness as a false claim, is to abate the fear of it; but this does not destroy the so-called fact of the claim. In order to be whole, we must be insensible to every claim of error.” (Unity of Good, p. 54:3)

That false claim is lost sight of, through the natural action of the true light of God. God loves us so much. He gave us the fullness of His love, of His message, of His glory, and not one of us can be deprived of our right to experience, bear witness to, and share that healing light.


SECTION 5 – THE LAW OF GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO

 Notice how many times law is used in this week’s Bible Lesson.
Jesus came to reveal that God’s law is still operating today and for all time. The Bible tells us that this law of God is already written on our hearts. (Jeremiah 31:33 / cit. B17) The inherent understanding of the kingdom of God is already within us. That’s why healing is revealing or awakening. It’s discovery, not inventing. Discovering who and what we already are.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6) Making the distinction between Jesus and Christ helps us see there is a universal power of divine Love that animated Jesus, which is with us wherever we are. There can never be a time or place where we can be outside of God, or out of the reach of this Holy Spirit, or Christ.
“This Christ, or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him.” (SH p. 26:10 / cit. S22)
Christ, or the Holy Spirit, was the animating power of God that enabled Jesus to do the wonderful works that he did. This Holy Spirit is the activity of God that brings us the ideas that we need, enabling us to awaken to God’s kingdom on earth – a shift in consciousness that results in harmony, peace, and healing.

It’s with us as we are traveling. It’s with us at our relatives’ houses. It’s with us as we quietly pray at home. The Holy Spirit that was with Mary and with Jesus, is with each of us, bringing a new sense of life, regeneration, and progress to our experience.

As Mary Baker Eddy tells us, “Divine Truth, Life, and Love gave Jesus authority over sin, sickness, and death. His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man.” (SH p. 26:10 / cit. S22)

Jesus had authority over all error. He proved that error or matter has no intelligence and no power. It can’t talk, it can’t act. Spirit is the only one who can communicate to us our actual status.

Jesus’ mission was to prove who God is and what He does for us. Jesus revealed a Science that is ever available to us and is universal. A science includes laws that are applicable, demonstrable, timeless, and impartial. They exist for all time and are universally applicable by all. This is a type of government that is truly everlasting!

This is important because it reveals the actual reign of the Kingdom of Heaven within us – the actual reign of harmony within man.

Here’s a related insight from Science and Health,  “As thus indicated, astronomical order imitates the action of divine Principle; and the universe, the reflection of God, is thus brought nearer the spiritual fact, and is allied to divine Science as displayed in the everlasting government of the universe…” (Science and Health, p. 121)


SECTION 6 – A SECURE FOUNDATION THAT IS BUILT ON CHRIST, TRUTH

A foundation is something that makes a house or building stable and secure. When we build our house – our consciousness – on the foundation of Christ, Truth, we feel more dominion and freedom.

Some synonyms for foundation are:
authority, bedrock, support, footing, reason, root, substructure, underpinning.

In speaking of Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy writes:
“In no one thing seemed he less human and more divine than in his unfaltering faith in the immortality of Truth. Referring to this, he said, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away!’ and they have not: they still live; and are the basis of divine liberty, the medium of Mind, the hope of the race. Only three years a personal Saviour! yet the foundations he laid are as eternal as Truth, the chief corner-stone.”
(Miscellaneous Writings, p. 163)

When we look to Christ for our authority, our reasoning, our support, we have all the law of God behind us. The physical senses cannot grasp reality. They can’t see reality, feel it, or touch it. They can’t perceive the divine Kingdom. Only our spiritual sense can assure us of God’s loving presence telling us we are safe in Love’s care.

You may enjoy this article about a woman and her family who were kept safe from harm while traveling through a dangerous, war-torn country:

“As I was just a child, the thought of Christ walking on the stormy sea impressed me very much. I looked at my mother and then back toward the Baltic Sea, where she was looking, and I wondered where she was seeing Christ. And I realized that she was seeing something I couldn’t see.” (‘Refugee is not a profession’)

Lastly, here are a couple of references from Mary Baker Eddy that sum up this Bible Lesson nicely:
“The little that I have accomplished has all been done through love, — self-forgetful, patient, unfaltering tenderness.”
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 247)

“The basis of Christmas is the rock, Christ Jesus; its fruits are inspiration and spiritual understanding of joy and rejoicing, — not because of tradition, usage, or corporeal pleasures, but because of fundamental and demonstrable truth, because of the heaven within us.”
(The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 260)

Have a blessed Christmas!


GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER & others will be POSTED and EMAILED later this week, so check your email (or junk mail) for them.  You can always check the  current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you have  SUBSCRIBED here to receive this free offering.


Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s “POETIC POSTLUDE”
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.


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